Keystroke recording - can Camtasia capture all keystrokes?

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Can Camtasia be set to record all keystrokes while a user is recording?
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Posted 8 years ago

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Photo of Drew


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This is an essentail feature to be able to record keystrokes. I use Camtasia Studio to record a session when a colleague comes over to demonstrate a program. The program has several shortcuts, and unfortunately, I am unable to display what he pressed.
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Adrian Gierakowski

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why is there no option to capture ALL keystrokes? sreenflow and screenium have this option. In many application there are keyboard shortcuts which do not utilise any special key modifiers (like the command or alt) and it is essential to be able to show those in video tutorials.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
capturing ALL keystrokes.
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Chuck Roesel

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Trying to get keystrokes (any at all) captured and displayed is exasperating beyond belief and really making Camtasia a bad experience for me. I can't find any setting to indicate I want to capture keystrokes.
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Dylan Sather

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+1 for the ability to record all keystrokes. With the advent of Gmail-like keyboard shortcuts (pressing a series of keystrokes like 'gi', 'gt', 'j' and 'k' to navigate, all without modifier keys) on many apps (including custom ones we've developed in house, for which we'd love to have screencasts), there are a number of use cases for the feature.

This is pure naivete on my part, but what's the security risk involved in enabling such a feature?
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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Dylan, if the recorder recorded all keystrokes, the security risk would be that CAMREC files could contain passwords, or other personal information typed during recording.

The keystroke callouts can contain a single character when added in the editor, after recording. You can add 2 keystroke callouts on the same frame for combinations such as 'gi' or 'gt'.

Hope this helps.
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Dylan Sather

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Thanks, David! The security risk is obvious when you hear it out loud... good to know.
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James Hill

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Surely you could have the option to opt into recording all keystrokes in preferences. Thereby allowing those in the know that they're about to record all keystrokes... Also I believe screenflow will not record any keystrokes when a password field has first responder.

It's a big issue, because when doing a photoshop tutorial, one might hit upwards of 1000 keyboard shortcuts in a 20 minute video. That would take forever to enter manually as "keystroke callouts"
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Leigh Christie

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let's put it this way... If I were to set up a physical camera next to my computer, that recorded my screen as well as my keyboard, surely I would be 100% responsible for recording myself entering a password right?

or, Imagine I'm teaching a tutorial and I put in a password right in front of one of my students and they watch me as I do it... surely that's my own fault. 

If you make it very deliberate for the user to turn "keystroke recording on or off"... that would be enough, no?

currently this is, by far, the worst part about Camtasia. 
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To Dave O'Rourke,

You say that recording all keystrokes is a security risk. This is true, for the reasons you mentioned. 

Unfortunately, giving that as your reason for not including the feature is faulty logic. Capturing the screen is a HUGE security risk, and TechSmith has built the entire company around doing just that! Then you added webcam recording! OMG, that's an even bigger risk! 

Obviously, the answer to these objections is that the customer knows what risk he is taking when he chooses to record the screen, or to record with his webcam. And that is the same answer for keystroke logging. If you feel strongly about it, implement the feature and pop up a warning message each time it is used: "Be careful: If you record keystrokes, Camtasia could record your password too!" But then, customers would eventually wonder why you don't pop up a similar warning when recording the screen!

We're looking forward to a more thoughtful answer on this request. Thanks for a wonderful product!
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John McCaffrey

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This is a problem. I teach programming and want to have Camtasia capture all the keystrokes while I am in my code editor. This makes it easier for my students to understand the code without having to struggle to read the code on screen. We need a way to do this, because if I have to manually add callouts for a multi hour code lecture, that will not be an option. If passwords are an issue, make it a simple preference to turn it on and off.
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Laurent Duchastel

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I want to record tutorials for ZTree, a file-manager which is entirely keystroke-based. Unfortunately, Camtasia records only few keystrokes. Many ZTree keystrokes are single lettered, such as R for rename or M for Make, and are not recorded. It will be tedious to add ten of dozens of keystrokes by hand in the project. The "security issue" argued by TechSmith seems a pity excuse for not developing a needed feature by regular and advanced users. It rather surrenders to the tyranny of the minority, these lunatic and dumb users who "could" mindlessly share their project with their keystroked passwords included. A simple reminder could be displayed when recording all keystrokes and avoid such mess. Please consider improving this feature.
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I've already switched to ScreenFlow and will be unsubscribing to the thread. A professional screencast personality that I follow (Don McAllister) uses ScreenFlow too.
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Michael Scott Cuthbert

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Definitely +1 to having a Preferences item to record all keystrokes -- the software I'm trying to demonstrate uses all single character keystrokes, so not recording them is a major pain.  I understand the risks. Thanks!